CfP: From Empire to Federation: Ideas and Practices of Diversity Management in Eurasia, 1876–1949

Ivan Sablin's picture
Type: 
Call for Papers
Date: 
December 1, 2022
Subject Fields: 
Asian History / Studies, Southeast Asian History / Studies, Intellectual History

Ivan Sablin (Heidelberg University / Institute of Contemporary History, Ljubljana) and Egas Moniz Bandeira (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg / Max Planck Institute for Legal History and Legal Theory, Frankfurt) invite chapter proposals on federalist and autonomist projects and designs in Southeast Asia (in Malaysia, Indonesia, or Indochina) for the edited volume From Empire to Federation: Ideas and Practices of Diversity Management in Eurasia, 1876–1949.

The global imperial crisis of the early twentieth century stimulated the debates on the alternatives to dynastic or external rulership across Eurasia. The collapse of the imperial and colonial structures of rule was followed by widespread instability and uncertainties, to which various authoritarian and centralizing forms of government were often deemed to be an answer. The present volume shows that these were not uncontested, but that they competed with decentralized, federalist and autonomist visions, which provided alternatives to centralizing designs in East Asia, Russia, Southeastern Europa, South and Southeast Asia, and the Ottoman Empire.

Together with the widely spread discourse of national independence, ideas of federation and autonomy proved extremely popular in (post)imperial and (post)colonial intellectual circles. Unlike nation-states, federations and states with autonomies promised to resolve the crisis of sovereignty while at the same time respecting various competing economic and social spaces of larger territories. Given the multiplicity and dynamics of social categories in the composite spaces of empires, it was not only ethnicity (nationality), but also religious and regional categories which were politicized and used to justify federal and autonomous designs. Discourses of decentralization and reintegration of economic and social spaces on new principles circulated across the existing borders, spread across different contexts, and contributed to a variety of outcomes of the postimperial and postcolonial transformations in Eurasia.

This volume seeks to enrich the global history of concepts, institutions, and political practices by scrutinizing the takes on federalism, autonomy, and other forms of decentralization outside the Western European and North American world. In particular, the volume addresses concepts, discourses, and designs pertaining to (post)imperial and (post)colonial projects of decentralization and diversity management; actors, including intellectuals, activists, and politicians which had been marginalized within the imperial and colonial contexts; intellectual and political legacies of the imperial regimes, including the attempts to create modern, inclusionary and differentiated political communities; as well as vernacular and external inspirations for the specific designs and their implementation.

Please submit an abstract of 150–300 words and a short bio to ENTPAR.Heidelberg@gmail.com by December 1, 2022.

Contact Info: 

Ivan Sablin (Heidelberg University / Institute of Contemporary History, Ljubljana) and Egas Moniz Bandeira (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg / Max Planck Institute for Legal History and Legal Theory, Frankfurt)